For businesses to keep up with industry changes without hurting company morale or its bottom line, it’s best to consider the power of upskilling employees and how it can help a business become more agile and better equipped for any future disruptions. 

With a rapidly changing landscape, businesses have to adjust and change the way they work, the technology they use, and the skills and requirements needed for the job. 

In this post, we’ll provide an encompassing look at what upskilling is, its main benefits and four steps on how you can get started on upskilling your workforce today. 

What is upskilling? 

When you’re upskilling employees, you’re teaching them new skills to improve their overall performance in their current role without the need for a complete career change. Companies use upskilling when employees need to learn about new updates, technologies, processes, or software. 

Having the resources to reskill employees in an increasing technology driven-world is a competitive advantage. It allows businesses to adapt to disruptions and better prepare for future changes without restructuring their entire organisation. 

Why is upskilling important?

By upskilling employees, you create a more well-rounded workforce that effectively reaches targets and innovative ideas to improve the business.

According to a survey done by SHRM, 83% of HR professionals have difficulty recruiting suitable job candidates due to a skill shortage. And this skill shortage is continuing to tighten with an increased need to understand better organisations’ skill needs and position their workforce for the future of work. 

Four benefits to upskilling:

  1. Boosts company morale. By upskilling employees, they have a more optimistic view of the future of their role within the organisation and gets them excited about possible career progression. 
  2. Improves retention. Investing in your employee’s career development inspires employees to want to stay with a company longer. It shows that the company cares about their future and protecting the role from becoming obsolete. 
  3. Attracts new talent. A job seeker’s ability to advance their career and improve their existing skill sets is an attractive opportunity when considering a job. You are also creating advocates for the company when you upskill current employees. They are more excited to recommend the business as a place to work. 
  4. Higher customer satisfaction. Employees who feel more inspired by the company they work for and who come equipped with the right skill set to succeed will deliver a far better customer experience, thus contributing to better success within the business. 

How to start upskilling employees

To upskill your employees and promise a better future for your business, you need to understand what skills could be necessary for the future. It’s best to understand any future restructuring that’s required or new business models the company could introduce to stay ahead of the curve. 

Follow these four steps to start reskilling:

  1. Identify the skills gap. To start, businesses need to analyse the gap between their employee’s current skill set and the skills they need to offer to continue to grow and succeed. 
  2. Build critical skills. Focus on upskilling the critical workforce that will help you meet the needs of your business’s demand. These core skills focus on digital, higher cognitive, social and emotional and resilience/adaptability. 
  3. Tailor learning. Based on each employee group’s skills gaps, you need to focus on strategic workforce planning to help you determine the right skills to develop based on specific roles quickly.
  4. Implement, test and repeat. There is no one size fits all for education, but by getting started, you are already better prepared. Be open to mistakes and take time to adjust if somethings not working. 

Protect the learning budget to protect your business

When considering what budget to cut next, try and preserve your learning and upskilling funding at all costs. As Zig Ziglar once said,

“You don’t build a business. You build people, and people build the business.” 

By upskilling your workforce, you invest in a brighter future for the business and its ability to adjust and restructure when it faces hard times. It also improves company morale, inspires current employees and attracts top talent. 

Interested in attracting high-performing employees dedicated to your business’s mission? Our Find Grow Keep operating system helps you build high performing teams. Discover your Find Grow Keep score and receive a customised report here:


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